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Air Fryer Spicy Cilantro Lime Shrimp is the perfect appetizer for your summertime potluck or party! These shrimp are cooked to perfection in under 5 minutes and are made delicious with ingredients like lime juice, fresh cilantro, and an array of seasonings! Dip them into a creamy cilantro lime dressing and you’ve got yourself a winning appetizer!

A large plate of shrimp is being served next to a bowl of cilantro lime dressing.
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Have you ever had an appetizer so good, it totally overshadows whatever the main course is? Yeah. That’s what these shrimp are.

Besides just being the definition of mouthwateringly delicious, these shrimp are also SO easy to make! I love a good air fryer recipe, and this is one of the best. I mean, you get perfect shrimp that aren’t rubbery in just under 5 minutes… I’m obsessed!

To seriously impress, be sure to serve these air fryer cilantro lime shrimp with a big bowl of creamy, spicy cilantro lime dressing. The shrimp and dressing go together like lime and Corona (which I also strongly recommend serving with this)!

A close up image shows the details of a perfect cooked shrimp.

What do I need to get started?

  • Shrimp – you will need large, raw shrimp that are peeled and deveined.  You can leave the tails on.
  • Lime juice – freshly squeezed is best
  • Lime zest – this gives a delightful extra citrus flavor to the shrimp
  • Butter – or you can use margarine, you can also use half olive oil, half butter
  • Garlic – you can use pre-minced garlic to help save time
  • Cayenne – this gives some nice spice to the dish
  • Smoked paprika – great for the flavor, but you can use chili powder if you like
  • Chili powder – you can use paprika is you prefer
  • Chili flakes – you can omit if you don’t want these shrimp to be spicy
  • Cumin – great for the flavor
  • Salt
  • Cilantro – I like to use a lot, but this is optional


  • The lime juice will “cook” the shrimp a bit, but not enough to eat as is.
  • Although the shrimp is marinated for half an hour, when I put the shrimp in the air fryer basket, I sprinkle with extra chili powder and then spray with olive oil or non stick cooking spray.  When I flip the shrimp over, I repeat.  If you just want flavor and color, you can do this with sweet paprika, it is very mild.
  • Shrimp cooks very fast in the air fryer and tends to dry out.  You will only need to cook for 2 minutes on each side.  If it still looks pink at all, cook an additional minute.
A shrimp is being dunked into a bowl of dressing.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers you have in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Reheating can be tricky! My best advice is the toaster oven on low heat, just to warm the shrimp up slightly. You want to avoid overcooking them and making them rubbery.

Shrimp are placed on the bottom of an air fryer basket.

Want to get more use out of your air fryer? Here are some of the best air fryer recipes!

Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Air Fryer Parmesan-Crusted Fish Sticks

Air Fried Catfish

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

4.50 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Spicy Cilantro Lime Shrimp

These guiltless air fried shrimp have a delicious spicy, tangy seasoning! Perfect served with my creamy cilantro lime dressing/dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Marinate time:: 30 minutes
Total Time: 44 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 1 pound (454 g) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup (118 ml) fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup (57 g) salted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) olive oil, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup (8 g) cilantro, chopped
  • Zest from one lime
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
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  • Place the shrimp in a plastic bag.
  • Mix the lime juice, butter, olive oil (if using), minced garlic, cayenne, smoked paprika or chili powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl. Pour over the shrimp and close the bag.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the shrimp and place in a bowl. Toss with cilantro and place in the air fryer basket. Don’t layer the shrimp and don’t over crowd for even cooking. Sprinkle shrimp with paprika or chili powder and spray with olive oil or non stick cooking spray.
  • Place basket in the air fryer and set for 400 °F (204 °C). Fry for 2 minutes, remove the basket and flip the shrimp over. Sprinkle with paprika or chili powder and spray with oil. Return to the air fryer and fry for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove and serve with lime wedges, on salad or with Creamy Cilantro Dressing/Dip.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 355kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 316mg, Sodium: 1572mg, Potassium: 193mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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  1. Absolutely incredible! I made the spicy cilantro lime sauce too and drizzled it all over my rice and shrimp. So delicious.